My friend Marc Leder is someone who I have always respected and he is someone who inspires me each day. Marc wasn’t dealt the best and of cards in life and many in his position would have taken a very different route in life than he did. I first met Marc at high school, neither of us were particularly intelligent and I quickly learned that his home life was incredibly tough. Marc and I were the misfits at school but we formed a very close bond. Marc didn’t have many hobbies as such, but he was absolutely obsessed with the internet when it first arrived. At that time most people thought that studying information technology was for nerds, but as soon as he got the chance Marc wanted to learn all he could. Just after high school, I planned to go start working for my father, knowing that I was not an academic. Marc went a different way, and ended up setting the world alight.
The Hustle Years
Marc’s family did not have much money and he had a poor relationship with his parents, as soon as he hit 18 he found a small one bedroom apartment and would fix people’s computers to pay his rent. Marc would spend the two years in this place learning about computers, the internet and different software options. In fact I would go round to see him and he would bombard me with information which I had no idea about.
For me Marc was good at 2 things, he was great with people and he was clearly great with computers. It came as a big surprise to me when Marc, at the age of 21, told me that he was going to launch an online security business. Marc had been to the bank, told them his plan and at that time he knew that people were lending money for tech start-ups with ease. Marc secured the investment and disappeared for around 6 months. When I caught up with Marc he began to tell me about the security suite which he had built and the number of customers which he had, I was blown away.
This initial success unleashed a beast in Marc and before long he had moved out of his apartment and rented some office space, hired a small team and was working 15 hours a day on this business. Within a couple of years Marc’s company was turning over more than $2 million and providing security services to some of the biggest companies in the city. He is still the CEO of that company and it is turning over way more than $2million.
The point here is that Marc wasn’t academic but he knew what he was good at and he worked his butt off to turn that into a business. Marc spent years living from day to day, living a frugal lifestyle and dedicated himself to his business, and it all paid off. Given his background he could easily have followed the path of so many who wasted their lives, but his resolute attitude and his dedication to his passion paid off, a true inspiration.